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Research Daily

Monday October 16, 2017

The Zacks Research Daily presents the best research output of our analyst team. Today's Research Daily features new research reports on 16 major stocks, including AbbVie (ABBV), American Express (AXP) and Abbott (ABT). These research reports have been hand-picked from the roughly 70 reports published by our analyst team today.

You can see all of today’s research reports here >>>

AbbVie shares have gained +44.8% year to date, outperforming the Zacks Large Cap Pharmaceuticals industry, which has gained +18.3% over the same period. The Zacks analyst likes the strong performance of AbbVie’s key drug Humira which should continue to do well. Moreover, Imbruvica has multibillion dollar potential and AbbVie is exploring the possibility of label expansion into solid tumors and autoimmune diseases.

Meanwhile, AbbVie has promising pipeline with several pivotal data readouts and regulatory milestones due in the second half. Maviret, approved recently, has the potential to rejuvenate AbbVie’s struggling HCV franchise. However, though Humira is doing well, the company is concerned about the product’s long-term growth prospects, given potential biosimilar competition.

Viekira also faces intense pricing and competitive pressure in the HCV market. Estimates have gone up slightly ahead of the company’s Q3 earnings release. AbbVie has had a mixed record of earnings surprises in the recent quarters.

(You can read the full research report on AbbVie here >>>).

Shares of American Express are up +55.1% over the last one year, outperforming the Zacks Financial Miscellaneous Services industry, which has gained +34% over the same period. The Zacks analyst likes its solid market position, strength in card business and significant opportunities from the secular shift toward electronic payments.

The company is gaining from investments made in growth opportunities over the last couple of years. Strategic initiatives focusing on the platinum card portfolio and OptBlue program will drive business volume. Cost reduction and return of significant capital to shareholders through dividend and share buyback are other positives.

The stock has seen the Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings being revised 0.5% upward over the last 90 days. However, an increase in provision for losses, foreign exchange volatility, loss of Costco as a client and intense competition remain major near-term concerns.

(You can read the full research report on American Express here >>>).

Buy-rated Abbott’s shares have gained +12.1% over the last three months, outperforming the Zacks Medical Products industry, which has gained +0.3% over the same period. Ahead of Abbott's third-quarter 2017 earnings result, the Zacks analyst likes the promising full year guidance which is indicative of brighter prospects ahead. In fact, the strong guidance is backed by the company’s expectations to gain more synergies from the St. Jude merger.

Overall, Abbott’s plan to expand in core therapeutic areas is cause for encouragement. Recently, the company's FreeStyle Libre Flash received the FDA approval. Also, the company has received FDA approval for magnetic resonance-conditional labeling for its Ellipse implantable cardioverter defibrillator recently.

On the flip side, Abbott’s sluggish pediatric business in China continues to dent growth. Management is also concerned about the economic problems in Venezuela that are expected to remain unresolved for some time.

(You can read the full research report on Abbott here >>>).

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Emerson Electric (EMR), United Technologies (UTX) and VMWare (VMW).

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Mark Vickery

Senior Editor

Note: Sheraz Mian heads the Zacks Equity Research department and is a well-regarded expert of aggregate earnings. He is frequently quoted in the print and electronic media and publishes the weekly Earnings Trends and Earnings Preview reports. If you want an email notification each time Sheraz publishes a new article, please click here>>>

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